Guergis embarrassed by letters

Tory minister's staff wrote flattering letters to newspapers under married name

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | 11:49 PM ET

The Canadian Press
Helena Guergis, minister of state for the status of women, came under fire during question period in the House of Commons Tuesday for letters written by a staff member. (CBC)

Embattled junior Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis said she had no idea her office assistant sent pro-Guergis letters to local newspapers posing as a regular voter.

Guergis, already under fire for an airport security tantrum last month in Charlottetown, said her riding assistant agreed that the letter campaign was inappropriate and has apologized.

The assistant used her married name, rather than the maiden name she uses in her professional life, to send letters defending Guergis to newspapers in the MP's Simcoe-Grey riding northwest of TorontoŚwithout any hint that they came from a Guergis employee.

Liberal MP Wayne Easter noted that all cabinet members have a media clipping service that details every newspaper reference, so it is simply "unfathomable" that Guergis or her department didn't know about the letters.

Easter called it another embarrassment for the Harper government and said he can't understand why Guergis, the minister responsible for the status of women, remains in cabinet.


The situation is also an embarrassing reminder of an incident involving the minister's husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, who once apologized for allowing an aide to impersonate him for a Vancouver radio interview.

Jaffer was in the news last month after charges of drunk-driving and cocaine possession were dropped in favour of a plea bargain conviction for careless driving and a $500 fine.

Guergis told the Commons on Tuesday that she had just spoken with assistant Jessica Craven and that Craven told her she had submitted letters to the editor under her married name, Jessica Morgan.

"We did discuss that it was inappropriate," Guergis told the House.

"She apologized and assured me that it will not happen again."

The minister did not otherwise comment on her aide's behaviour.



Helena Guergis now expects Canadians to swallow the story that 'she had no idea her office assistant sent pro-Guergis letters.

It's all part of Mr. Harper's policy of hiring submissive staff who do what they are told, who follow the doctrine of doing what ever it takes to do the job, regardless of it being right or wrong.

It's also about the increasingly obvious conceited arrogance that comes with having "too much power and authority".

Some people can be trusted with absolute power but in politics and especially Law, those who seek and obtain absolute power, attract those who are least suitable and most likely to abuse that power.

Party Politics aside, Canada has an incredible number of people in power, and in opposition, not to mention members of the Judiciary, who are not just ethically challenged but have severe personality disorders that disqualify them for any position of power.

For example, a very high percentage of elected MP's have been bankrupt and cannot even obtain a credit card.

Its this sort of important delinquent information that should be mandatory for MP's to display on their CV.